XU Library: Mini grants for Muskies

Library’s new program will allow faculty to apply for a grant each semester

By Tess Brewer, Staff Writer

This year, Xavier University’s McDonald Memorial Library will start a mini-grant program to fund potential projects by eligible faculty members, hoping to advance the vision and mission of the library and promote student success. 

This pilot program comes in the wake of three endowment funds that the library was awarded. After development from Library Director Ken Gibson and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Dr. Rashmi Assudani — with approval from the library committee — the program is now open to grant proposals from Xavier faculty members who want to creatively integrate library resources into their curriculum.

Those eligible to submit proposals include principal and participating faculty members. Collaborative proposals (joint faculty colleagues or staff projects) are also accepted. 

McDonald Memorial Library Director Ken Gibson is excited to see innovative proposals from the faculty and looks forward to the potential for the library to utilize its resources and staff in a collaborative way. 

“We see this as a win-win for the faculty and the library… The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity to the faculty while supporting the initiatives and values of the library,” Gibson said. 

Gibson hopes that this program can be beneficial in assessing the value of the library in regard to student outcomes. 

Photo courtesy of xavier.edu

Xavier’s McDonald Memorial Library will utilize their new mini-grant program to sponsor and further student success through the program.

“In increasing faculty partnership with the library, we seek to improve student success and retention.  We don’t teach the classes, we don’t grade the papers, but we know we contribute to student success… We hope that some of the proposals can help us better measure that contribution,” Gibson said. 

There are many ways that the grants can be utilized, and Gibson provided a few examples: “Curricular integration of Makerspace or university archives, partnering with a librarian on a unique opportunity or even bringing in outside communities.”

Other ways that the University Library Mini-Grants can be used include covering costs associated with library hosted events like book launches or a Muskie Madness, the creation of affordable learning material, or creating a scholarly display. A list of additional descriptive examples is available on the university library website. 

Applicants may submit proposals up to $1,000. Multiple mini-grants can be applied each funding cycle, to a maximum of $4,000 each cycle. There is a funding cycle each semester, in the spring and fall, with submissions for this spring currently open. 

Photo courtesy of xavier.edu

The submission deadline for this Spring 2023 is April 1, and the deadline for Fall 2023 is Oct. 1. 

Gibson recognizes that to have a long-term impact on the library and its resources.

“What I hope will happen is that the ideas that do get funded will get put on the library website, especially if there is a product, so that colleagues can be benefited by those ideas and we can build a repository over time,” Gibson said. 

Gibson encourages students to talk to their professors if they have ideas. 

“If students have an idea for their course that would be beneficial for collaboration, especially if the barrier for their professor is money, there are a lot of opportunities for faculty; we want to be able to provide that financial platform,” he added. 

For faculty interested in submitting a proposal, further information and application materials can be accessed at xavier.edu/library.